Reactive absorption is often used to separate sour gases from gas streams, for example in the chemical industry or in natural gas cleaning. Currently, reactive absorption is investigated for the removal of CO₂ from power plant flue gases in order to reduce CO₂ emissions and thus to mitigate global warming.
Search for new and efficent solvents and process modifications
In the reactive absorption process, the gas and the solvent flow counter-currently through the absorber column and CO₂ is absorbed and reacts with the solvent. The solvent is then regenerated in the desorber column which requires energy. In power plant applications, steam is extracted from the power plant so that the overall efficiency of the power plant drops significantly. A focus of past and current research is the search for new, more efficient solvents and the investigation of process modifications to increase the energy efficiency. Such process modifications are evaluated beforehand through model-based process simulations.